John Leguizamo says he ‘regrets’ turning down film role over Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie salary issue

‘You have to go to a lot of therapy to fix that,’ said the actor

Shahana Yasmin
Monday 13 May 2024 08:41 BST
John Leguizamo clarifies criticism of James Franco playing Fidel Castro

John Leguizamo has opened up about the roles he regrets turning down in his four-decade spanning career.

Among the roles Leguizamo has rejected are Stanley Tucci’s Nigel in The Devil Wears Prada, Robin Williams’s voice role as Ramón in Happy Feet, and Vince Vaughn’s role as Eddie in Mrs & Mrs Smith.

Reflecting on his past decisions, he said: “I had my reasons. I mean, they’re stupid, but I had my reasons.”

Leguizamo said it was an issue of pay that led to him not wanting to work on Mr and Mrs Smith, telling Business Insider: “Well, for Mr & Mrs Smith, it was because they were paying them $20m and they were going to pay me scale.”

“I felt dissed, and they probably weren’t dissing me, but I felt dissed.”

“Sometimes when you’re a person of colour, you’re so used to being dissed that you think you’re being dissed, and sometimes you’re not being dissed,” reiterating what he said in a separate portion of the interview about the difficulty of being a Latin actor and getting good roles.

“So that’s what happens, and you have to go to a lot of therapy to fix that.”

On 2006’s Happy Feet, Leguizamo said he had just done the Ice Age films, in which he voiced Sid the Sloth, and didn’t “want to be doing all these ice movies”.

“Such a stupid reason. But it seemed logical to me at the moment, and then I lost out on millions.”

Actor John Leguizamo speaks during 2021 Los Angeles Comic Con (Getty Images)

However, Leguizamo said he “loved” his role in the Ice Age franchise, adding: “I created that role with Mike Berg and Peter Ackerman and Chris Wedge. That was a creation of mine. We created this innocent, naive, beautiful soul. I value that. I love Sid the Sloth.”

Leguizamo previously told that he once “negotiated” to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, a part that ultimately went to Michael Keaton.

However Leguizamo revealed that the conversation between Marvel and Keaton went on for so long they lined up another actor – Leguizamo – in case things fell through.

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“I was supposed to be the Vulture,” he said at the time.

“We had negotiated and I was about to play him, and they said that Michael Keaton wanted it back and they asked me if I would give it up. I said, ‘Well, okay I guess.’”

Michael Keaton in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ (Sony Pictures Releasing)

The actor elaborated, saying the studio “offered him something tiny” as consolation, but he refused.

Leguizamo has now said in the Business Insider interview, that “another actor would’ve sued” if they had been dropped the way he did.

“I hadn’t signed a contract, but we had agreed. I think those are sueable terms.”

“My grandma was like, ‘If they don’t want you at a party, don’t go.’ So I was like, you don’t want me at the party. I don’t want to be there. I felt dissed and diminished, so I didn’t really want to be a part of it.”

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